Tin Shui Wai residents have complained about changes to a late-night bus service that takes them home from Causeway Bay.
Part of the N969 route has now been extended to new estates in Hung Shui Kiu, adding 15 new stations—and ten new minutes—to the formerly 85-minute journey.
The bus will now travel along Tuen Mun Highway rather than taking the faster, more direct route through Tai Lam Tunnel.
Citybus, which runs the route, told Ming Pao that the change will benefit residents of Hung Shui Kiu and Lam Tei, both in Tuen Mun. The Transport Department said it considers the impact to passengers when reviewing changes to bus routes, and that it has not set a limit to number of stops and journey time.
New People’s Party district councillor Legward Wong Cheuk-kin told the newspaper that the route change was due to take place in the third quarter of 2013, but was shelved due to opposition from fellow councillors.
Wong said that Citybus made the change in late November during a recess of Yuen Long District Council, shocking members of the local assembly: “There’s no need for consultation if the Transport Department and bus company just decide internally.”
District councillors have sent letters to the Transport Department demanding to temporarily return the N969 to its former route.
Tin Shui Wai New Force, a concern group for district affairs, has create a satire photo saying it may be faster for Tin Shui Wai residents to fly to Taiwan than to return home from Causeway Bay, which now takes over one and a half hours.
Wong Pak-yu, a member of the group, has tried the new route himself and said it took 93 minutes, as were not many passengers at the time. However, he says that the journey time could be longer than 100 minutes if there were more people on board.
The Transport Department says it has received 15 complaints against the change.